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Citations: Citation Managers

Learn what a citation is, how to read a citation and how to create APA, ASA, MLA, and Chicago style citations.

Managing Citations with Mendeley or Zotero

Citation managers are applications that collect, manage, and cite research sources.

MSU Mankato's librarians recommend Mendeley or Zotero. Both citation managers are endorsed by Memorial Library as effective, low-cost (or free) tools that offer a variety of benefits to their users.

Mendeley or Zotero can help you:

  • Create bibliographies and in text citations for assignments and research projects. Available writing styles include APA, MLA, Chicago, and many more. 
  • Organize citations to create a personalized literature database.
  • Export citations for library databases and freely available websites.
  • Save and annotate PDFs.

Compare Mendeley and Zotero

How do you pick the best citation management software for you? We put together a comparison chart below to help you identify the different features available and figure out the best option for you.

  Mendeley Zotero
Looks like: Video Video
Cost: Free; fee for additional cloud storage Free; fee for additional cloud storage
How to get it: Create account Create account
How it works: Desktop or web-based client Desktop client
Mobile compatible:

Mobile-friendly website

3rd party apps available

Mobile-friendly website

Data is stored: On your computer; Cloud (if you sync) On your computer; Cloud (if you sync)
Can I collaborate with others: Yes Yes
Where to get help: Mendeley Support Zotero Support

Credit: This comparison information was adapted from the University of Victoria Libraries.

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